Dancing Columns

Tony Cragg (1949 - )

Sandstone sculpture in 2 parts


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© Tony Cragg

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  • About the work
    Country: Germany
    City: Berlin
    Place: British Embassy
    Dancing Columns consists of two sandy yellow undulating stone columns made to a human scale. Although fixed, the movement within their formal construction evokes dancing figures.
    This sculpture fits within Tony Cragg’s Rational Beings, a facet of his practice that examines the relationship between the mathematical basis and intricacy of organic forms, and the emotional human responses to these. These materialise as abstracted human profiles that embody questions around why things look and behave in a certain way. Cragg’s visual language invites the viewer to improve their imaginative and emotional relationship with the world.
    Dancing Columns was commissioned in 2000 by the Collection on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, for the British Embassy in Berlin. Tony Cragg used sandstone quarried in East Berlin, to match the material used for the façade of the building. The commission coincided with the building of a new British Embassy following the reunification of Germany in 1990, to replace the historical site that had been destroyed during the Second World War. The submission to the architectural competition won by Michael Wilford and Partners proposed ‘to symbolise not only cooperation between Germany and the United Kingdom, but also ‘openness’, with a striking and innovative façade made of the same local Berlin sandstone with which the Brandenburg Gate was constructed’.
  • About the artist
    Tony Cragg is an internationally renowned British sculptor who lives and works in Wuppertal, Germany. He is part of a generation of sculptors who came to prominence in Britain during the 1980s and which included the artists Antony Gormley, Richard Wentworth, Anish Kapoor and Alison Wilding. Cragg was born in Liverpool and studied at Wimbledon School of Art (1969-72) and then at the Royal College of Art in London (1973-77). Cragg was awarded the Tate Gallery’s Turner Prize in 1988, having also been shortlisted three years earlier. He was the British representative at the prestigious Venice Biennale in 1988, and has been a member of the Royal Academy since 1994.
  • Explore
    dance, abstract, column
    Materials & Techniques
    sandstone, stone sculpture
  • Details
    Dancing Columns
    Sandstone sculpture in 2 parts
    Commissioned from the artist, July 2000
    the artist
    GAC number